State funds allocated to East Suburban YMCA expansion
The expansion project at the East Suburban Family YMCA has received a boost with $200,000 in state money.
The Commonwealth Financing Authority recently approved allocating almost $6.6 million to 19 projects in Allegheny County, including one at the YMCA in Plum.
“It (the funding) is fantastic,” said Kelli McIntyre, executive director of the YMCA on Route 286. “It is fantastic we got it.”
McIntyre said the YMCA earlier this year applied for the funding that is from the Pennsylvania Gaming Economic Development and Tourism Fund Program, or GEDTF, a program established to fund community- and economic-development projects in Allegheny County through revenue from the Rivers Casino on the North Side.
“It will help close the funding gap,” McIntyre said.
Gov. Tom Corbett said in a news release that in addition to bolstering “quality housing, business growth and job creation,” the 19 approved projects “will also address important public safety and infrastructure needs, and will undoubtedly improve the quality of life for residents.”
The $12 million expansion will nearly double the size of the 20,000-square-foot facility in Plum.
Features of the project are a 30,000-square-foot addition with a wellness center and track; a teaching kitchen; an indoor aquatic center, including a warm-water therapy pool; a new and expanded child-care area and summer day camp; a new community room; locker rooms; a preventive-health class and rehabilitation-program area; and potentially a teen center.
Construction is expected to be completed in a year. McIntyre said the building's foundation is being installed, and road improvements are under way.
“These types of projects are few and far between,” Plum Mayor Richard Hrivnak said last year during the groundbreaking ceremony. “It is one of the things that makes Plum such a good place to live.”
The fundraising campaign for the project kicked off a couple of years ago with a $1 million donation from the Sampson Foundation established in 1993. The facility is to be renamed the Sampson Family YMCA.
McIntyre said about $5.6 million has been raised to date. The public phase of the fundraising campaign kicked off last month.
Also, the Sampson Foundation until the end of the year is providing matching grants for the project.
“For donations up to $999, they (the foundation) are matching one to one,” McIntyre said. “For donations of $1,000 and up, they are matching two to one.”
McIntyre said the YMCA is responsible for raising half of the $12 million. The YMCA will get a loan for the other half, she said.
The new executive director's focus is keeping the YMCA programs in place during construction. Some programs have been moved to other areas of the facility to accommodate the project.
“It is important not to cancel any programs,” McIntyre said. “It's great that everyone has taken to moving and condensing of classes.”
Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8753, or firstname.lastname@example.org.